Unique MMORPGs – A Virtual Life Less Ordinary

The MMORPG world is a heaving mass that stretches its flabby limbs across cyberspace. Every month it seems like a new game is released and the hulking behemoth grows ever more omnipresent. For beginner and experienced MMO players alike the options are dizzying and it’s easy to find yourself registering to any game that looks even slightly interesting and gorging your hard drive on seemingly infinite client downloads.

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Uncharted Waters Online – A Unique Sea Based MMORPG

Send in the clones
Of course, what you will find with the MMORPG scene is that many games are merely clones of more popular and superior titles, so after you’ve binged on downloads you’re left with a bitter taste as you delete a vast majority of what you have wasted an afternoon doing.

It’s obvious that the trouble here is the lack of originality in the sea of MMORPGs. Don’t get me wrong though, there are games out there that follow the standard routine of the genre marvelously, throwing in all the common tropes such as questing, levelling and landing phat lewt, but still remaining fun to play on a regular basis. But every once in a while it’s nice to try something new and there are a couple of games floating in the cyber verse that take originality to the extreme.

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Secondhand Lands – Play as a Wolf!

Dialogue with deer
Ever found yourself in the middle of a raid and thinking ‘I wish I were a deer with a human face’? No? Bet you’ll have nightmares about that image for a week though. Fortunately for all of you who are reading this after drinking vast quantities of a dubious liquid and answered ‘yes’, there is a game out there for you. Endless Forest by Tale of Tales, a developer of artistic games like The Path, is a bizarre and somewhat relaxing MMO where you take on the role of a stag who prances around a forest. The most intriguing part of the experience is that you communicate not though a chat window but a mixture of bleats, motions and gestures. You can scratch the ground to threaten someone or perhaps recoil in fear at another deer doing the same to you. It’s a game of interpretation, where language must be analyzed in order to come up with the correct response. Ok, it’s weird, but oddly enough it does create a strangely deep level of interaction. Also, there are no gold spammers, which is always a plus.

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Endless Forest Screenshot

LOVE can move the earth
Enchanted Forest is as close to poetry as an MMO is going to get, but it’s certainly not the only game on the block that shuns common genre conventions. Take LOVE; a co-operative first-person adventure game that has players building a settlement with the use of an environment-shaping monolith. Taking a surreal leaf out of Myst’s book, LOVE offers a rich yet abstract environment in which to join other players in a quest to build a strong settlement and defend it from AI invaders. You’re encouraged to explore the world and find tokens that will give your settlement new items and abilities, as well as attempting to unveil the secrets of this strange land.
Both Endless Forest and LOVE transcend the MMORPG genre and create a completely new experience. These artistic games aren’t going to be to everyone’s taste, but maybe after downloading yet another homogenous fantasy RPG you might think to yourself, ‘you know what? I fancy being a human-faced deer today’.
What MMOs do you guys think are really unique?

By, Scott Malthouse

 
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